In the mood for disconnection

Tero Karppi, Aleena Chia, Ana Jorge*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The needs and desires to disconnect, detox, and log out have been turned into commodities and found their expressions in detox camps, self-help books, and “offline” branded apparel. Disconnection studies have challenged the power of commodified disconnective practices to create real social change. In this article, we build on the notion of affective attunement to explore how disconnection commodities provide differential ways for individuals to respond to the challenges of connectivity, and how they can form larger patterns of resistance that cannot be dismissed as futile. We examine the ambiguity of disconnection commodities through three examples: a smartwatch kill switch and stealth mode features, detox floatation tank therapy, and make-up lines. Our approach turns the perspective from ends to the means of disconnection. We argue that these commodities do not offer hard breaks but they do let users attune to connectivity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1599-1614
Number of pages16
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Affect
  • Attunement
  • Commodification
  • Connectivity
  • Disconnection
  • Mood
  • Practices
  • Resistance


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